From KERA News:
Dallas high schoolers recently debated a topic that’s dominated Texas headlines — school vouchers — in the Mayor’s Cup, a new high school debate competition organized by the Dallas Urban Debate Alliance. The inaugural event was hosted by Mayor Mike Rawlings and Harlan Crow at Old Parkland Thursday.
Kicking off the debate, North Dallas High junior Kathy Nguyen declared her team’s position on school vouchers, which would give families state money to pay for private school.
“In affirming tonight’s resolution,” Nguyen said, “we will argue that rather than enhancing our education system, vouchers deprive children of an equal opportunity for a good education and instead leave the most needy students behind.”
Sounding equally confident, Sophie Rahman, a sophomore at the Science and Engineering Magnet, stated her team’s opposite view.
“Many Texas schools remain on the failing school list. The most needy students deserve better options. And that is why we need education vouchers,” Rahman says.
Vouchers – one of today’s hot legislative topics in Texas – didn’t get resolved in the Mayor’s Cup contest. Mayor Rawlings wasn’t expecting students to resolve it. But, he’s glad they’re taking on tough issues because he says students benefit. He had the idea for a mayor’s debate last year.
“And then I started thinking about the issues that happen in politics all the time, and everybody hates everybody. OK? And everybody’s yelling at everybody,” Rawlings says. “And everybody’s in social media and everybody’s tweeting each other, and it’s like these are important issues. We should debate them in a civil manner. And if adults can’t do it, maybe kids could.”